Kwame Nkrumah: More Letters from the Conakry Years


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Letters from Stokely Carmichael, Grace and James Boggs, Julia Wright, Shirley Graham DuBois and others make this volume invaluable for Nkrumaists worldwide. For Pan-Africanists everywhere and for those concerned about the present and future welfare of all people of African descent, these additional Kwame Nkrumah Conakry letters will prove inspirational.

There is no single individual who has contributed more to Africa and its people all over world than Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. In theory and in practice, his great contribution was, primarily, to the African Revolution, the struggle to bring about a liberated, united, and socialist Africa: Pan-Africanism.

Nkrumah used every occasion to articulate the tenets of Pan-Africanism. First, a people’s identity is derived from their ancestral land base, not from their birthplace, and, therefore, the only land base that Africans justly could claim is continental Africa. Secondly, he understood that only a united, socialist Africa could provide a permanent solution to the exploitation of Africa’s wealth, the exploitation of its people’s labor, and the oppression of its people.

All of his efforts, therefore, were on behalf of Pan-Africanism. He never stopped writing or speaking about it. *The collection of letters compiled by June Milne, his literary executrix, first published by Panaf in 1990 as well as these additional Conakry letters are proof that the overthrow of his government on February 24, 1966 only strengthened his resolve to fight for Pan-Africanism. In fact, Nkrumah’s most mature beliefs in regard to the African Revolution were articulated in the letters and books written during the Conakry years.

After the coup, Nkrumah did not waste time corresponding with individuals who did not demonstrate a commitment to the African Revolution. Thus, the Conakry letters represented in this volume are to those individuals whom Nkrumah felt could help him articulate an advanced theory of the African Revolution or, such as in the case of Reba Lewis, could help him stay abreast of current trends in the world, could share information about mutual acquaintances, and encourage him to be mindful of his health.

The correspondence between him and those represented in this volume was essential in helping him develop his advanced theory of the African Revolution. One of the most critical extensions of this revolutionary theory is his understanding of the role Diasporan Africans play and will continue to play in this Revolution. Letters from Julia Wright and James and Grace Boggs are insightful in this regard. Others such as Reba Lewis help in his crystalizing other concepts.

One thing for sure, always first and foremost in the mind of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was the quest for the permanent liberation of African people: the achievement of Pan-Africanism. That is why he is the greatest hero. That is also why Osagyefo’s contribution to all people of African descent will never be forgotten.

*A few of the letters in the Milne collection appear in this collection as well. These letters appear in their entirety here since significant sections of them were omitted in Milne’s work, sections which Pan-Africanists would think most insightful in regard to the African Revolution.

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Kwame Nkrumah: More Letters from the Conakry Years